TRUST AND EFFECTIVE LEADERS Trust has always been associated with relationships. Those who enjoy successful relationships often list down trust as one of the most important things any relationship should have in order to survive. When initial studies on leadership, specifically the difference between leaders and followers, did not yield significant results, focus turned to a leader’s individual traits that affect the success of the leader and the organization he belongs to. For this paper, the role of trust in leadership is observed through the critical analysis of five scholarly articles dealing with leadership in a variety of industries; namely, in sports, in education, in business, in corrections, and in the military.
Not surprisingly, trust was still deemed as a necessary ingredient in effective leadership across these five industries. Article Review There is no relationship where trust is more evident than the one shared by players and coaches such as that in the world of basketball. With five individuals taking orders from a person who is situated outside the play area, trust surely plays a major role. In the study conducted by Kurt Dirks on the influence of trust in team performance and leadership, he discovered that when players trusted their coach completely, the unit played excellently (2000).
Interestingly, the study also revealed that trust amongst teammates was less influential on performance than what everyone seems to believe. The researcher noted, however, that the importance of this variable may be dependent on the kind of task members of a team are expected to accomplish. The article was interesting because it established a connection between basketball, a very familiar topic to everyone worldwide, and effective leadership.
Surely, the target audience would be able to appreciate how the research was conducted as well as the results. The writer also used simple enough words so that the article does not limit its readers to just those who are well-versed in sports or psychology. Because the piece was well-organized, it was easy to understand the purpose of the research and how the results were realized. The next article talks about the research conducted by Alma Harris and Christopher Chapman on effective leadership in schools which are in the middle of difficult issues.
A new kind of study of leadership in the school environment, the researchers discovered that the heads in the institutions observed did “walk the talk” (Harris, A. & Chapman, C., 2002, p. 6) and as such earned the trust of the people around them, making their leadership effectual under challenging times. The study did an excellent job in presenting the data they gathered. The whole article was enlightening to its readers, whether these may be familiar with the discipline or not. Since the researchers collected information from several school facing challenging issues, they presented the data using similar themes across the subject schools.
Then, they presented strategies used that were distinct for particular schools. Because of this presentation and the simple language the article employed, the reader was not overwhelmed with unfamiliar information and so had a clear understanding of the results. The third article reviewed for this paper deals with leadership in the business world, more specifically for entrepreneurs. According to the article, “entrepreneurial leaders who are trusted make themselves known and make their positions clear in all operational areas of the organization (Darling, J., et.
al. , 2007). ” The researchers found out that there are four strategies employed by successful business owners and one of these is trust through positioning. In this industry, leadership is successful when the one in charge shares his stand on what transpires day-in, day-out in the organization and sticks to these decisions. He becomes an effective leader because he gains the trust of his people in return. This article is more of an exposition on the key strategies of effective leadership in entrepreneurship.
As such, it may tend to be boring for some readers, especially those who do not fancy anything business-related. Even if the vocabularies used are mostly general terms, the text appears to be generally unexciting since it is a review on existing practices of successful leaders rather than an actual performed research. The examples of effective leaders like Jack Welch of GE and the late Steve Jobs of Apple Computers are the appealing parts of the article. Nevertheless, the article is grammatically sound and the message it wants to convey is clear.
Another article that talks about trust in effective leadership is one written by Eric Sones about the United States Army. According to Sones’ expository, trust is the backbone of leadership and the “four key elements to building trust in any organization are confidence, reliability, empowerment, and care of others (Sones, E., 2013). ” Furthermore, trust needs to be earned and one can receive trust right away or after a period of time. Based on the tone of Sones’ writing, it can be deemed that the author is making a generalization of his personal experience in the US Army.
After enumerating the elements, he describes them and presents quotes from fellow military personnel, even summarizing with a quote from GE’s CEO Jack Welch. The article is simply written and very direct. One can say that Sones just wants to share stock knowledge with others and not enlighten readers with writing based on extensive research he has done. This is a bit of a let-down after reading the title of the article since a reader may expect more from the passage.
The last article for this paper deals with trust in correctional facilities. Written by Michael Montgomery and published in the Corrections Compendium, the article discusses the development of different leadership styles through the years and which one was best to use in correctional institutions. The article goes on to say that trust makes corrections leaders effective enough to manage situations and get the best results, especially when there are many challenges ahead of them such as government budgets and the various personalities of the people in such an environment.
The article is very lengthy. However, it is broken down enough to where a person can understand what is being discussed. The writers reviewed studies conducted by others on leadership and did not conduct an actual study. This may be boring for some readers but ultimately it would depend on the type of reader. Although the words were easy enough for the adult reader, not all adult audiences may appreciate the content of the article. Nevertheless, the message is still synonymous with the rest of the articles reviewed for this paper and that is trust does play a role in effective leadership in whatever industry.
Two significant findings It is interesting that across the five fields from where the articles on leadership were acquired, trust was the common denominator. All the literature utilized by the articles and the studies conducted by two of the readings were in agreement that an effective leader needs to be have the trust of his followers. Another interesting finding is that even though the strategies employed by leaders depend on the situation and organization they belong to they all generally manifest the same values.
All the effective leaders presented as examples in the readings respected their members’ opinions and personified the values they wanted their members to have. Conclusion It has been said time and again that one of the foundations to a lasting relationship is the establishment of trust. The saying can also be applied to the effectiveness of a leader in any organization. As can be deemed from the readings presented in this paper, a leader can only be effective if the people under him have placed their belief in him.
Bibliography: Darling, J. R., et. al. (2007). Entrepreneurial leadership strategies and values: keys to operational excellence. Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Dirks, K. (2000). Trust in Leadership and Team Performance: Evidence from NCAA Basketball. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85, 1004-1012. Harris, A. & Chapman, C. (2002). Effective Leadership in Schools Facing Challenging Circumstances. National College for School Leadership. Montgomery, M. J. (2006). Leadership in a correctional environment. Corrections Compendium. Sones, E. (2013). Trust: The DNA of leadership. U.S.
Army Medical Department Journal.